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Section 2 — General functions of the Crofting Commission

Part of Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 9:15 am on 1st July 2010.

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Photo of Peter Peacock Peter Peacock Labour 9:15 am, 1st July 2010

I believe that the crofting commission should retain a role in the development of crofting. It is a unique body and the future of crofting is a central part of its concern. It seems wrong to pass in its entirety the development function to Highlands and Islands Enterprise at a time when the crofting commission is to become democratically elected. I believe that the commission should retain a role in development, albeit one that is defined in its strategic plans. It would be regrettable, to say the least, if in years to come we wanted the commission to do something only to discover that it was not legally empowered to do so. Retaining the development role and defining it through the strategic plan seems sensible. Amendments 2 and 123 seek to deal with that by leaving the development function with the commission.

Amendment 124 was drafted in the same spirit as the amendments about development. I seek clarification from the Minister for Environment about the provisions in the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 that the bill will delete. Should they be continued? They cover matters to which even the Government is committed. I look forward to hearing what the minister has to say about that.

Amendment 4 is a probing amendment that seeks to ensure that what the commission is currently doing to hold maps is permissible under its powers.

I move amendment 2.